- The category includes a variety of craft with a variety of missions including civilian, paramilitary, and military roles.
- Combatant military smallcraft are typically known as F-class Fighters. Other non-combatant military types include the I-class Combat Transports and Q-class Combat Support Ships.
- The Supraclass designation is also known as Ship Mission, Ship Mission Code, Mission, or Ship Hull Designation.
- It is a starship supraclass.
- 1 Library Data Referral Tree
- 2 Description (Specifications)
- 3 History & Background (Dossier)
- 4 References & Contributors (Sources)
Library Data Referral Tree
- Starship User Types
- Advanced Ship Classifications
- Basic Ship Classifications
- Ships by Function
- Speed of Travel
U-class Utility Craft are among the most commonly encountered smallcraft within Charted Space. Utility bigcraft are also common, but far less so than their vastly more numerous smallcraft cousins. Utility craft can be specialized for every sort of mission possible, but multipurpose craft are ubiquitous. Militarized versions are known as UQ-class military boats. 
- A side view schematic of a Deliverance class Lifeboat.
- A small, sleek Marrel Veckor class Lifeboat, popular with the Distant Fringe.
- A Coeus class Assault Pinnace approaching a Tethys class Mercenary Transport and preparing to dock.
- A side view of a Gallant class Assault Shuttle smallcraft.
- Two Paulos class Troop Transports streaking to targets, one engaging its non-standard stealth device.
- No exemplar yet available.
- A stock Ship's Boat image by a famous starcraft artist.
- A stock Cutter or Modular Cutter image by a famous starcraft artist.
- A stock Gig image by a famous starcraft artist.
- A stock Launch image by a famous starcraft artist.
- A Slow Pinnace image by a famous starcraft artist.
- A stock Pinnace image by a famous starcraft artist.
- A Coeus class Assault Pinnace approaching a Tethys class Mercenary Transport and preparing to dock.
- A stock Shuttle image by a famous starcraft artist.
- A Slow Boat image by a famous starcraft artist.
- The Camel class Medical Launch is a first responder smallcraft. This is a simple deck plan for the vessel.
- An Olyora class Medevac Pinnace in orbit preparing to render first aid to wounded planetary combatants.
Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)
Utility craft are generally not built to function in more than a self defense role. Except against lightly armed pirate or marauder vessels, evasion is the general order of the day. The mission of utility craft is to perform a variety of useful roles: interface transport, light scouting, light cargo transport, passenger conveyance, and a variety of other utility roles.
Utility Ships typically serve the following roles:
|Related Military Craft Supraclass Archetypes|
|Combat Transport Smallcraft||(UI)|
|Excluding Escort (Bigcraft)||(E)|
|Excluding Gunship (Bigcraft)||(EG)|
|Militarized Utility Craft||(UQ)|
Most Common Standardized Smallcraft Types
- Cutter (50-ton)
- Fighter (10-ton)
- Launch (20-ton)
- Pinnace (40-ton)
- Ship's Boat (30-ton)
- Shuttle (95-ton)
- Slow Boat (30-ton)
- Slow Pinnace (40-ton)
Smallcraft Speed Regimes
- M:1-3 G = Slow Speed Smallcraft
- M:3-4 G = Average Speed Smallcraft
- M:4-6 G = Fast Speed Smallcraft
Supraclass Archetypal Roles
These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:
|U-class Utility Craft Supraclass Archetypes|
|Utility Craft||U||Damgarrii class Passenger Launch||Utility Craft or Utility Smallcraft are an entire grouping of smallcraft displacing less than a hundred tons and only equipped with NAFAL drives. They are not equipped with FTL jump drives. These light craft perform a very wide variety of utility missions and roles.
|Drone Smallcraft||UD||Zip class Courier Drone||Mesodrone. A completely automated smallcraft utility craft will generally be this type, with any other subtype of U-class added afterward. For instance, an industrial drone is typically UDG rather than UG or UGD.|
|Escape Pod / Life Boat / Small Launch||UE||SK-3 class Lifeboat||It is one of the smallest spaceships in common use. They typically displace 20 tons or less. Although its primary function is to serve as a life craft in the event that evacuation is required, it can also be used to transport passengers. While many launches perform a utility role as well as life boat and/or escape pod duties, most Type-UE-class smallcraft are specialized to only perform escape pod and/or life boat duties. Any utility capabilities are an afterthought.|
|Fuel Shuttle||UF||Bubble class Fuel Cutter||Fuel shuttles or lighters are smallcraft that perform a variety of fuel-purposed missions although the most common act to perform wilderness refueling tasks and then ferry fuel back to a largecraft mothership. Others refine fuel, carry it around like miniature tankers, or otherwise do useful things. They also have bigcraft cousins.|
|Industrial Smallcraft||UG||Tomar class Industrial Mining Launch||UG-class smallcraft perform a variety of industrial (G-class duties) and prospecting (J-class duties) missions and roles including belter-related duties. Many are equipped to extract, process, or transport ore across the distances of a star system.
|Combat Lander / Combat Transport Smallcraft||UI||Sturmge class Assault Shuttle||Combat Transport smallcraft or combat landers are smallcraft tasked to bring fighting men, soldiers, mercenaries, marines, etc. to the surface combat environment under fire. Many also carry combat equipment, AFVs, supplies, and/or carry weapons to suppress defenders.|
|Boarding Smallcraft||UIB||Barrister's Gavel class Boarding Gig||Boarding smallcraft are combat transport smallcraft focused on boarding actions in space, rather than on delivery to planetside. They will typically not carry vehicles larger than an individual soldier, since they would not fit in a typical target's corridors. Likewise, any mounted weapons are typically to secure the docking, and are not able to fire into the target's corridors to support the boarding.
|Expeditionary Smallcraft||UK||Denuli class Hunting Launch||Expeditionary smallcraft are specialized utility craft designed to support the operations of expedition ships. They can range from specialized colony support craft, to stealthy first contact craft designed to unobtrusively observe newly discovered sophont societies, to hunting launches for safari ships, and a variety of other craft.|
|Research Smallcraft||UL||Boquist class Research Pinnace||Research smallcraft are specialized utility craft used to conduct scientific research, laboratory experiments, science lander missions, and a variety of missions designed to support science vessels. 
|Multipurpose Utility Craft||UM||Damgarrii class Passenger Launch||UM-class Utility Smallcraft form the bulk of smallcraft constructed within Charted Space. They are carried by the majority of starfaring vessels and are easy to construct with Universal Manufacturing Templates (UMT's) stocked at almost every shipyard. Even the least popular designs have dozens of variants, and the most popular might have a hundred or more popular variants. They are multipurpose craft, easily adaptable to carry cargo, passengers, or other needed goods. 
|Ship's Boat (30-ton)||UMB||Cigiysna class Ship's Boat||The ship's boat is a small vessel ordinarily carried to perform odd jobs and minor operations for a larger ship. |
|Cutter (50-ton)||UMC||Mineral class Cutter||The modular cutter is designed to carry one of many modules available Three are the ATV module, which includes an operational ATV; the fuel module, which serves as a fuel skimming vehicle and storage tank; and the open module, which can be customized for passenger couches, fuel, cargo space, cabins, or staterooms.  Cutters are considered the smallest vessel associated with independent military command. As such, cutter commanders are called "captain." Cutters are used in a variety of military and civilian settings. Although they can fill similar roles to those of the pinnace, they are more likely to be found as work boats and ferrying supplies and equipment around the system.|
|Gig (20-ton)||UMG||Goblin class Gig||These vessel are normally carried on other ships. They are larger than lifeboats and have the capacity to carry passengers and freight. They have a variety of other designations including Launch, Jolly Boat, and confusingly Ship's Boat.|
|Launch (20-ton)||UML||Constance class Launch||The launch is one of the smaller spacefaring craft, and is often carried by another vessel to serve as a lifeboat.  Launches are typically smaller craft, but can still perform a very useful multipurpose utility role when needed. While some launches are specialized for the escape pod or life boat role, a huge percentage of commercial launches are of the multipurpose variety. Militarized UQ-class versions exist as well, typically with upgraded military electronics and light weaponry. |
|Slow Pinnace (40-ton)||UMO||Slow Pinnace||The slow pinnace is similar to a pinnace but is slower because more space is allocated for passengers and cargo, so less space is available for power plant and maneuver drives.  Speed= G:1-3.
|Pinnace (40-ton)||UMP||Ziiguysna class Pinnace||The pinnace is a larger, farther-ranging non-starship capable of holding passengers and small vehicles.  Small craft or boat of interplanetary (though not interstellar) capability. Approximate displacement: 40 tons. The Pinnace is a larger version of the ship's boat, capable of 5 Gs acceleration, carrying up to 8 passengers and displacing 40 tons. It has a fuel tank capacity of 12 tons and an equal cargo capacity. Pinnaces are usually armed with one beam or pulse laser in a non-turret mount. In some cases, a missile launch rack is installed instead. This vessel is the preferred craft for customs enforcement and policing.|
|Shuttle (95-ton)||UMS||Intruder class Shuttle||The shuttle is a larger interplanetary passenger vessel.  Shuttles are normally used to access planetary surfaces, or other ships. They are often used by ships which themselves are not capable of landing on planetary services themselves. Large shuttles, up to 95 tons, are capable of 3 Gs of acceleration, and can carry up to 30 passengers and 80 tons of cargo. Fast Shuttles are generally smaller with more thrust in the 5 to 6 G range.|
|Slow Boat (30-ton)||UMW||Slow Boat||The Slow Boat is a small vessel ordinarily carried to perform odd jobs and minor operations for a larger ship.  Speed= G:1-3.
|Medical Smallcraft||UN||Camel class Medical Launch||Medical smallcraft serve as utility crafts for medical ships. They haul patients back and forth, perform first aid, rescue, and a variety of other life-saving roles and missions. Some are specialized to track down pervasive alien pathogens or hunt down and destroy plagues. At any rate, they serve medical largecraft or provide some measure of medical capability for non-medical largecraft.
|Militarized Utility Craft||UQ||Yaeai class Recon Pinnace||Militarized smallcraft are relatively rare, but often perform important combat support functions such as communication relay points, sensory reconnaissance, logistics management, and a number of other important roles.|
|Private Smallcraft||UY||Type UY class Private Smallcraft||Any smallcraft for private or personal use that does not fit one of the other categories (in particular, not Industrial Smallcraft), and typically operates independently rather than supplementing operations of a larger ship. In other words, anything that would fit in Y-class except for being a smallcraft of less than 100-tons. Being smallcraft, these are more often the property of the working class and/or small business owners, and thus less luxurious. |
|Special Mission Smallcraft||UZ||Xenon class Heavy Fighter||Special mission smallcraft perform a wide variety of very specialized smallcraft missions as alien technology demonstrators, prototypes, experimental craft, test ships, and a variety of very small production run craft.|
|NOTES: There is semantic overlap between many of the classes and codes. Some codes organize by mission or capability, others by size and tonnage, and yet others by other characteristics.|
Spaceflight typically begins in most sophont societies with chemically-fueled rocket programs. As new fuselages are experimented with, typically by the TL:7-9 tech epoch, reusable airframes and new engines (drives) come into use. These are the first utility craft, space shuttles, launches, spaceplanes, and the like. Eventually they culminate in SSTO (Single Stage to Orbit) craft, which are direct lineal predecessors to today's utility craft, albeit with vastly less capable hulls and drives. 
Contemporary TL:13-15 utility craft are often equipped with G-drives, Heplar thrusters, and advanced fly-by-wire flight controls. They can lift mass into orbit and beyond at such low costs that TL:7-9 spacers would be aghast. Many can be used for short endurance intrasystem spaceflight to moons, mining colonies, agricultural colonies, research stations, or other planets of note with a star system. And most have standard docking clamps and airlocks to be used as subcraft to a wide variety of space and starcraft. 
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type UE class Life Boat
- Type UF class Fuel Shuttle
- Type UG class Industrial Smallcraft
- Type UK class Expeditionary Smallcraft
- Type UL class Research Smallcraft
- Type UMB class Ship's Boat
- Type UMC class Cutter
- Type UML class Launch
- Type UMM class Modular Utility Craft
- Type UMP class Pinnace
- Type UMS class Shuttle
- Aanz class System Shuttle
- Andrew class Commercial Shuttle
- Carrus class Shuttle
- Ciigusna class Shuttle
- Crawm class Shuttle
- Deployment Shuttle
- Excellence class Fast Shuttle
- Generic Shuttle
- Intruder class Shuttle
- Olympian class Shuttle
- Rosendal class Shuttle
- Traissthurdusa class Rocket
- Type 423 class Cargo Shuttle
- Vanguard class Shuttle
- Type UN class Medical Smallcraft
- Type UQ class Militarized Utility Craft
Ship Summary List
Some of the most commonly used vessels in this role or these roles include:
|118 Representative Utility Craft (U) Classes|
|14 Representative Drone Smallcraft (UD) Classes|
|9 Representative Lifeboat / Escape Pod (UE) Classes|
|6 Representative Fuel Shuttle (UF) Classes|
|3 Representative Industrial Smallcraft (UG) Classes|
|22 Representative Combat Transport Smallcraft (UI) Classes|
|2 Representative Boarding Craft (UIB) Classes|
|1 Representative Expeditionary Smallcraft (UK) Classes|
|2 Representative Research Smallcraft (UL) Classes|
|51 Representative Multipurpose Utility Craft (UM) Classes|
|6 Representative Ship's Boat (UMB) Classes|
|10 Representative Cutter / Modular Cutter / Runabout (UMC) Classes|
|4 Representative Gig (UMG) Classes|
|8 Representative Launch (UML) Classes|
|1 Representative Slow Pinnance (UMO) Classes|
|6 Representative Pinnace (UMP) Classes|
|14 Representative Shuttle (UMS) Classes|
|1 Representative Slow Boat (UMW) Classes|
|4 Representative Medical Smallcraft (UN) Classes|
|2 Representative Militarized Utility Craft (UQ) Classes|
|2 Representative Private Smallcraft (UY) Classes|
|1 Representative Special Mission Smallcraft (UZ) Classes|
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